A few months ago, we experienced some hard storms during the night. Although we have a camera in the girls' room and didn't hear a peep during that long, stormy night, we quickly learned the next morning that our Panda girl had spent most all of the night awake and frozen in fear.
Kids from hard places, like the orphanage she spent her first 16 months of life in, learn hard lessons fast. One thing she learned was that crying out for help was useless. No one answered her cries and before she even knew how to roll over, she knew not to cry for help. Someone without wounds as deep as hers may think that 6 years in a loving, responsive home would erase those scars.
Oh how I wish they did...but her response that stormy night is proof that triggers remain and some things, as much as you may try, are truly hidden in the deepest places.
Orphanages are hauntingly silent. In Tianjin with Ailee James, we visited the "older" child orphanage...mostly kids 6 years old to around 13 when they age out and are put on the streets on their own. Behind a tall wooden gate, we were told there were around 600 children. Yet, even with a large open courtyard and a beautiful sunny day to play outside, you didn't hear a single child...laughing, talking, anything...nothing. Only silence.
These are the realities that my girls' experienced and that impact them daily.
Every day since that stormy night...many times over...out of nowhere...Andie-Grace will ask "It rain today?" At dinner, before bed, during breakfast, in the middle of playing, at any given moment the fear of another storm remains constant in her mind. She knows she can call for help but she didn't...and I think she knows that she can't trust she'd do any different the next time it storms. It's so hard to rewire the brain.
So as a storm started rolling in this morning, she heard the thunder and knew, from our conversation this morning, that a storm was coming but that she was safe.
But as it began and as the lightning struck, she said to me "Mommy, you make it stop? I'm scared."
I had to be honest...and point her to Truth...she was finally putting words to something so hard for her to process.
"Darling, mommy can't stop the storm but you know who can?"
She asked, "Jesus?"
I replied, "Yep! He is in control of this storm."
She asked "Then why He make it?" with complete confusion of why the Jesus she loves so much would allow something that scares her so badly.
I said, "I don't know why He is allowing the storm but I know that He loves you SO much and because He loves you so much, He is going to take care of you."
And then I held her and wept.
Because there are some questions I can't answer both for her and for myself...because there is a storm all around our world right now. One that we can't stop and we don't understand. One that has no rules and is completely wrong. And, yet, for some reason, God has allowed it. As much as I wish He'd share a glimpse of why, I just have to keep trusting that He knows better than I do...
And know that because He loves me, I'm safe in His hands, too.